World Trade Organization's deal goes back to drawing board for 'new phase' of uncertainty

The World Trade Organization is regrouping to see whether it is still possible to finalize a major deal to boost global trade after a deadline passed to formally adopt it.

WTO members were due to adopt the deal before Friday, leaving the Geneva-based organization's 159 member economies scrambling to figure out what they could do next.

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The organization approved the deal in December at the eleventh hour in Bali, Indonesia, as a way of easing barriers to trade by simplifying customs procedures and making them more transparent.

WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement "the fact we do not have a conclusion means that we are entering a new phase in our work — a phase which strikes me as being full of uncertainties."